Victor Delano: US Navy gunnery officer who rallied his comrades during the attack on Pearl Harbour

As his ship sank in the harbour, he managed to swim to safety

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The Independent Online

Victor Delano was a US Navy captain who helped rally fellow sailors during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Not long out of naval academy, Delano was a newly commissioned gunnery officer on the USS West Virginia when Japanese aircraft attacked on 7 December 1941.

Delano helped get machine guns working, showing others how to use them. One of them, mess attendant Doris Miller, was later awarded the US Navy Cross. As the West Virginia sank, Delano swam to safety. He went on to serve elsewhere in the Pacific and after the war commanded a minesweeper in Japan. During the Korean War he was commanding officer of a destroyer, the USS Eversole. He received a master’s degree in nuclear physics in 1949 from MIT and was assigned to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

Victor Delano, US Navy officer: born Washington 20 December 1919; married Jacqueline Stinson (died 1990; one daughter, one son); died Rockville, Maryland 25 August 2014.